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Wednesday, 1 December 1965


Mr HAWORTH (Isaacs) .- I agree with a small portion only of the remarks of the honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly). I agree with his reference to clause 1 1 (2.). As a result of the new clause which will be moved by the Attorney-General (Mr. Snedden) members of the tribunal will receive a remuneration and not a salary. As the honorable member for Grayndler said, the clause we are discussing must be read in conjunction with clause 17, which the Attorney-General proposes to remove. Clause 17 provides -

A member shall not engage in paid employment outside the duties of his office.

The removal of that provision means that the members of the tribunal can have two positions. They can be members of the tribunal and also carry on their normal occupations. That, I think, raises certain dangerous questions, because a member of the tribunal should have to give notice to the Attorney-General of the direct or indirect pecuniary interest that he might have acquired in some business or businesses in Australia. At present such a provision is not in the Bill, but if a person can be a member of the tribunal and also engage in a business which might be discussed by the tribunal it should be necessary for him to give written notice to the Attorney-General of his direct or indirect pecuniary interest in that business. If that notice is given to the Attorney-General it should also be given to the relevant parties that are before the tribunal. I think that the President would not only be anxious to have this information but would also be anxious to see that the people he appointed to the tribunal from the panel would not be people with interests that conflicted with their duties as members of the tribunal.

I hope that the Minister is listening to what I am saying. I am suggesting to the Attorney-General, Mr. Chairman, that he might lay down that the members of the Tribunal must advise him of what their pecuniary interests are so that confidence will be created in them. It looks as if I am wasting my time speaking to the AttorneyGeneral on this matter because he is engaged in discussion with another honorable member. This is a very important Bill. It will cut right across the interests of the business people in the community. It will cost the taxpayers of this country hundreds of thousands of pounds. Therefore I believe this matter should be thoroughly discussed by the Committee. It is on matters like this that the Minister should be listening to me.







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